The music of Jenna Nicholls has been turning heads since she arrived on the door step of the Lower East Side of NYC. Whether she’s belting out a New Orleans style dirge, plucking her 1920’s style original ballads on her Ukulele, or singing a cowboy tune, she’s giving a vintage genre a new spin with her own lush nostalgic style and melodic sensibility.
Recently, Jenna has toured with Ingrid Michaelson, shared the stage with Oscar Winner Glen Hansard, Amanda Palmer, Lucius, Joan as Policewoman. She’s performed in venues all over the world including the Beacon Theater NYC, and Carnegie Hall.
JENNA NICHOLLS | Radio Parade from HausMusic
Some albums take you back in time, while others make time irrelevant. Radio Parade by Jenna Nicholls is one of those albums.
Released in 2018, Radio Parade consists of seven songs. Each song has a distinct narrative, yet they are cohesive. The album’s orchestrations range from ukuleles to steel guitar all mixed with jazz undertones. It takes you back in time while standing staunchly in 2019.
With an album like Radio Parade, one really has to choose which songs to write over. I wouldn’t want to ruin the album for you! The first standout of the album is “Sweet Talkin’ Ladies’ Man.” This tune sounds like a piece ripped straight out of a 1920’s cabaret (Cue Liza Minnelli) mixed with 1950’s honky-tonk piano stylings. Throw in Nicholls stifling vocals and impeccable falsetto, and you have a piece of music that you forgot existed.
Next comes Nicholls’ ballad “Home.” This is a heart-wrencher, as she leaves behind all her vocal acrobatics. Frankly, this song doesn’t need them. Nicholls is a genius storyteller through her vocal inflections. This subdue ballad is reminiscent of Norah Jones but is distinctly Nicholls.
Then, just as you think you might have Nicholls figured out, she brings us “Millionaire.” Leave the Jazz behind; it’s time to visit Nashville. This upbeat, classic country-esque tune is easily something you would hear in today’s “alt-country” world while standing firmly in the legacy of the likes of Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn.
Radio Parade proves that specific musical techniques and design never go out of style. While Nicholls still implements her modern form, her music pays homage to much that has come before. Instead of taking us back in time with her music, she proves that history is sometimes worth repeating.
ALBUM REVIEWS / MUSIC
Jenna Nicholls – The Blooming Hour
• WIUX 99.1FM Music Blog
Oozing with heart-filled, innocent indie rock, Jenna Nicholls’ second album The Blooming Hour entrances listeners with its charming vocals backed by lovely piano and guitar. This solo artist, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brings hints of jazz, bluegrass, and folk into her sound, making it memorable. The unhurried tracks prove appealing due to their gentle, serene sound and soulful lyrics. Though all are filled with childlike innocence, each precious track brings something new to the table.
The album starts off on the right foot with its best track, “The Getaway.” Soft and melodic, her innocent voice blends beautifully with the sun-shiny sound of the ukulele. The song gives an earthy feel, similar to springtime in a field of flowers. A few tracks later, “Be Kind to My Mistakes” proves Jenna Nicholls’ ability to cover a song and have it live up to the original. Unhurried, the mellow Kate Bush cover features hushed, careful vocals that beg and plea. Featured in ABC’s television series BostonMed, “All the While” brings guitar and twinkling piano together with Jenna Nicholls’ swoony voice to provide a slow, reflective track with quick changes of notes. “Just How Much,” another charming track on the album uses a waltz rhythm and loving lyrics to portray “just how much” she loves someone. The piano tinks along merrily in the background, pairing wonderfully with her innocent vocals. Full of sass and an old-timey feel, “Sassy Miss Lassie” shows a fun and playful side of the artist. The track is unlike any other track on the album, but somehow still ties into the overall sound.
Calling New York City her home, Jenna Nicholls takes her indie rock genre by storm, incorporating other genres such as jazz, bluegrass, and folk in her music. The Blooming Hour, her second album, released in May of this year. Despite the vast number of indie artists trying to break into the scene, this artist has began making a name for herself. Having been featured on an ABC television series, Jenna Nicholls shows that she is an artist to watch.
By: Valerie Cox 99.1 FM WIUX
From Babysue.com on “The Blooming Hour”
The ongoing influence of Kate Bush seems to be increasing these days. We’ve heard several artists over the past few months whose music seems heavily influenced by Ms. Bush’s recordings from the 1970s and 1980s. Jenna Nicholls makes music that fits in this category…but she is by no means a copycat artist…she’s just a young lady whose music has many of the same warm endearing qualities that made so many of us fall in love with Kate. The Blooming Hour features nice smooth slick pop music with personalized lyrics and exceedingly genuine lead vocals. Although we did not hear Ms. Nicholls’ last album, apparently up to this point she has been making mainly folk music…so this is a bit of a departure for her. These highly stylized tunes feature nice dreamy moody sounds and haunting melodies. This is not the kind of processed pop you hear on cable television programs. And it’s a far cry from the generic techno churned out by so many fake modern musicians. Jenna’s music is the real deal. Cool flowing compositions include “The Getaway,” “Mayfair,” “Just How Much,” and “Long Goodbye.” Top pick.
From Direct Current Magazine: On ‘The Blooming Hour”
New York singer/songwriter (by way of Pittsburgh) readies her self-described “more mature, fuller sounding” sophomore album, successor to 2008’s Curled Up Toes In Red Maryjanes…a regular at Brooklyn and Lower East Side pass-the-hat music clubs…new album is produced by the fine multi-instrumentalist and studio knob-twiddler Jimi Zhivago (Kim Taylor, Ollabelle) // Release: The Blooming Hour (late May) // Sounds like: swaying, halcyon folk/pop with some lushly embroidered production on the edges…the subtleties may take a second listen to discern, but the effort is rewarded…Nicholls is in possession of a disarmingly appealing voice // What we like: the gentle persistent tug of the Kate Bush cover “Be Kind to My Mistakes”, Zhivago laying a sonic foundation that simply sneaks up on you…the lovely cello snaking through the sweet music box ballad “All the While”…the Nick Drake-ish Brit-folk charm and harmonies of “Mayfair”…